I don’t know about you, but the month of January seemed to go on and on, so I’m so glad to turn the calendar page to February !! We had a mild January and already in my garden the snowdrops are in full bloom and the first of the daffodils are just about to come out ,a sure sign that spring is on the way !!
In Ireland , almost all of the covid restrictions have been lifted. It’s great to see an end in sight after almost two years and although we still have to think safe, there are bright days ahead .
February begins with the feast day of our lady patron Saint , St. Brigid and her feast day of 1st February and marks the beginning of spring. For those of you that come with me on my walks you might remember we visited her birthplace in Faughart , near Dundalk where she was born in 451AD . Her monastery was founded in the town of Kildare , not far from Dublin and on her feast day there will be the traditional making of the St Brigid’s cross that is woven from rushes and hung in the home to bring protection and good luck.
February 3rd marks the fest of St. Blaise and is one of my favourites ! Although not from Ireland, St. Blaise is said to cure sore throats, and there is a special devotion to him from the Carmelite fathers. As a child I was educated by the Carmelites and we always got time off school to have our throats blessed using a pair of crossed candles. Whether it worked or not I’m not sure , but it’s a lovely childhood memory that I cherish to this day .
Saint Mel’s feast day will be celebrated on the 7th – I will tell you more about this little known saint on this weekend’s walk and of course, February 14th will be St Valentine’s day . We have a wonderful collection of Valentine’s Day Gifts over at www.connemaramarble.com.
As I have told you before, the heart and a vial of blood of Valentine are in the care of my friends the Carmelites in their Whitefriar Street church in Dublin. It’s great that the church is now open again and on the day it will be packed there is a book where you can write your intention to the saint – and maybe he will bring love your way …
We have been busy the workshop getting the last of our orders for QVC finished and shipped out ahead of St Patrick’s day and a few days ago we shipped a big shipment of our Connemara Kitchen teas – it’s hoped to have these back on air in early March and I promise to keep you posted . Our big trade show – Showcase Ireland – usually takes place in January but it’s been postponed to the end of this month . The show brings together the finest of crafts, fashion and design and is the leading trade show for us . I’m really looking forward to attending , to meeting old friends and customers and filling the order book for the year ahead.
I hope that you have a lovely February, and that spring will come your way too . Take care and all the best, Stephen.